I love a retelling, so I was instantly taken with the Cursebreakers series by Brigid Kemmerer which is a spin on Beauty and the Beast with tons of political drama, magic, and action. (You can read my reviews of the other two books here.) I had a lot of expectations going into the final installment, A Vow So Bold and Deadly, and well, you'll see.
|Pub Date: 1-26-21|
YA - Fantasy
After the shocking revelation that Grey, once a Commander of Emberfall, is not only the true heir to its throne but also in possession of magical abilities, loyalties among the people have been divided. While most believe that Rhen is the rightful prince, others long for a new age under Grey's reign. Despite not wanting to go to war, Grey has given Rhen a grace period of two months before he and the forces of Syhl Shallow will march on Emberfall. Instead of using that time to devise a plan, Rhen has chosen to isolate himself from everyone, especially Harper who is desperately trying to find a peaceful resolution.But Rhen isn't the only one facing hardships. In Syhl Shallow, Lia Mara is struggling to gain the respect of her people after becoming Queen. She yearns to rule with a just and fair hand, and not lean on violence like her mother before her. Syhl Shallow has lived in peace without magic for years, and its people are not eager to follow a queen who aligns herself with magical beings. Many of Lia Mara's soldiers do not respect Grey or trust his motives, and as the deadline for war reaches a close, Lia Mara can't help but feel she has gotten in way over her head. As if the impending war between the brothers wasn't enough, both kingdoms will be tested even further when an old enemy thought to be dead resurfaces seeking to destroy them all.
I only have one word to describe this concluding novel, and that is woof. It was just so lackluster and a bit disappointing. The pacing was all over the place which led to it feeling very disjointed. The beginning was incredibly slow where it felt like nothing was happening except for the characters just standing around talking, and then the ending felt rushed and was over before you could blink. The actual conflict itself was resolved so quickly and easily that it felt too convenient and anticlimactic. There was also a ton of miscommunication throughout this between basically every character and it was just frustrating. I also felt there was a lot that was left unanswered (especially in regards to Lillith) so I couldn't help but feel unsatisfied. I did like a few bits, namely the parts between Grey and Lia Mara because I just enjoy them both so much, but other than that I don't think this lived up to its potential.